I was reminded by the experience of one of our friends about fevers in babies and small children.
Fever in childhood can be common. There are lots of causes. Teething, a simple cold or flu, and even just excessive activity can bring on a low-grade fever. Making sure your child drinks plenty and gets rest will often see the temperature return to normal in a day or so.
But high fevers are nothing to take lightly with a baby or young child.
In the unlikely event that your child should run a high fever, it is good for you to know what to do and what not to do.
If your child feels warm to the touch, take their temperature. A rectal temperature is the most accurate, though under the arm will work. A fever over 100.4 degrees F. or 38 degrees C. must be reported to a doctor immediately. To help bring the fever down, a cool (not cold!) sponge bath can help keep the fever from rising dangerously high while you seek medical help. Do not give any medication until prescribed by a doctor.
A baby’s immune system is not ready to handle an infection on its own. The doctor will be able to advise treatment for the cause of the fever.
High fevers can trigger a febrile seizure or fit.
This is the primary reason to get the fever down as soon as possible. Usually, a child having a febrile seizure shakes all over and loses consciousness. Sometimes, the child may get very stiff or twitch in just one area of the body. They may vomit. The fit seldom lasts more than a couple minutes.
So here are a few tips on what to do if you come across a case of febrile fits with a baby or child:
- Protect them by placing him/her on the floor or bed away from any hard or sharp objects.
- Turn his/her head to the side so that any saliva or vomit can drain from their mouth.
- Get medical help immediately.
Now for the good news!
Most children respond well to medication for the cause of any fever they get. Most children never have a febrile fit. And most who do have one, never have another one in their lives.
For more information about reasons to call your child’s doctor see: Symptoms to Call Your Doctor About